October is the time for ghosts, ghouls and monsters, ready to jump out and scare the pants off of you. But if you’re like me, you don’t see the point in purposefully participating in any activity that’s going to give you anxiety or keep you up all night scared of what’s in your closet.
Luckily, there are plenty of movies that can satisfy the wacky and weird Halloween cravings in your life that won’t haunt your dreams. A lot of classic non-scary Halloween movies came out during the late 1980s and early 1990s, possibly in response to the horror heyday of the 1970s and 80s that produced classics like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So here are 10 movies you can watch this month to celebrate Halloween if you hate horror movies.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Is there a bigger cult classic than Hocus Pocus? This movie has become more synonymous with Halloween than the Halloween franchise. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are indescribable as the Sanderson sisters.
Based on the classic board game, Clue goes all-in on the tropes, props and story of a murder mystery in a hysterical fashion. It actually sticks pretty closely to the plot of the board game and is filled with slapstick humor perfect for all ages. The cast is incredible and looks like they had the best time making the movie. Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn steal the show.
Every kid that grew up in the 90s knows this Disney Channel Original Movie is one of the greats. Debbie Reynolds is an icon and it introduced us to the DCOM queen Kimberly J. Brown. It’s goofy and definitely geared towards younger kids, but you wanted not scary, right? Bonus: Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge is just as good (don’t ask about the others).
This classic has everyone asking “Who you gonna call?” every Halloween. There’s plenty of laughs to balance out the weird and the Zuul. It has one of the catchiest theme songs ever written and introduced us to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the concept of intimate ghosts.
Tim Burton shows up three times on this list (get it?). He’s the king of quirky dark comedy, and Beetlejuice is his quirkiest of all. When a couple gets some uninvited house guests, they call on Beetlejuice to help get rid of their infestation. Plus it’s got an all-star cast with Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara and Winona Ryder.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
This movie is wild. A flower shop worker finds a new plant that grows to an enormous size, talk, sing, and cause lots of problems for everyone involved. And it’s a musical – written by a pre-Disney Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
How do you even begin to explain The Rocky Horror Picture Show? It’s become one of the greatest cult classics and fans across the world have live performances with the movie each year. It features some truly unique characters (another iconic Tim Curry performance) and incredibly catchy songs.
The Addams Family (1991)
The first live-action feature film debut of the creepy and kooky family, it’s just as wacky as you’d expect. Bad is good, disgusting is beautiful. Anjelica Huston as Morticia is perfection – she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance! Christiana Ricci and Christopher Lloyd are also standouts.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Is Winona Ryder the Queen of Halloween? She certainly has a strong argument to make with Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and Stranger Things on her resume. Here, she teams up again with the undisputed King of Halloween Tim Burton, along with Burton’s muse Johnny Depp, to bring the story of Edward Scissorhands – an unfinished science experiment that winds up in a standard suburban town.
Casper the friendly ghost is definitely geared more towards kids and is very much a 90s movie, but it’s cute and fun and Casper is adorable. Christina Ricci gives another great performance and adds to her campaign to be the younger Halloween Queen after Winona Ryder.
Bonus: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Yes, this counts as both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie. I like to watch this during the first week of November as a way to wrap up Halloween and officially begin the Christmas season. As the story centers around residents of Halloween Town, it feels more Halloween-centric. Tim Burton produced this stop-motion masterpiece and his long-time collaborator Danny Elfman wrote the iconic songs.